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What you should know about PR3-ANCA: Evidence for the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of systemic vasculitis

Abigail R Clayton and Caroline OS Savage

Author Affiliations

MRC Centre for Immune Regulation, The Medical School, University of Birmingham, UK

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Arthritis Res 2000, 2:260-262  doi:10.1186/ar98

Published: 12 June 2000


The pathogenesis of systemic vasculitis is complex and is likely to involve many mechanisms. There is a growing body of evidence that T cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitides. Predominantly, T cells and monocytes are found in inflammatory infiltrates in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG). The production of ANCA appears to be T-cell-dependent. T lymphocytes from the peripheral blood of patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis have been shown to proliferate in response to proteinase 3 (PR3). These and other findings outlined in this review indicate T-cell involvement, although further studies are still needed to elucidate the exact contribution of T cells to the pathogenesis of systemic vasculitis.

proteinase 3; systemic vasculitis; T cells; Wegener's granulomatosis